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Help! Looking for classic movies on "Turner CLASSIC Movies"


rover27
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Could anyone tell me what has happened to the classic B&W movies that used to be shown frequently(key word, FREQUENTLY) on TCM? I'm talking about the bulk of TCM's programming. I see some occasionally, but often they are at odd hours.

 

 

Most of the schedule seems to be filled with 60's, 70's, 80's, and sometimes later, movies. Color seems to be the primary prerequisite for the bulk of the prime time lineup lately.

 

I'm sure some will point out examples of classic B&W movies being shown in primetime, but I'm talking about the overall drift of TCM to show newer color letterboxed(yuk!) movies not only in prime time, but as a large part of the daily lineups.

 

At one time I thought this was only a temporary drift, but it seems to have been going on for several years now. How sad!

 

And as far as what a classic movie is, I go by common sense and classic movie guides such as Leonard Maltin's "Classic Movie Guide". If a movie isn't listed there, with some small exeptions, I don't put it in the classic movie category.

 

Edited by: rover27 on Sep 24, 2009 10:47 PM

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If you want to know do a search as there have been countless other threads like yours and it has been discussed a great deal. They are still there.

 

Today, for example, until you get to TCM Underground the newest movie is from 1957 with the bulk of today's films being from the 30s.

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*"If you want to know do a search as there have been countless other threads like yours and it has been discussed a great deal. They are still there."* - movieman1957

 

Make it easy on yourself. Just click on the OP's name and see their posting history. This topic is all this poster ever brings up. Often.

 

Kyle In Hollywood

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It's not a temporary drift at all, it's an incremental drift. I've observed it myself since I first got TCM in 2001/2002.

 

The station has always aired films from all over the decades, but the focus has always been the studio films from the 20's-50's. I believe it remains so, but a few factors have contributed to more films from outside that timeframe getting more airtime.

 

One of those, and I think this might be one of the most significant, is that when Ted Turner sold off his film libraries, the station no longer had carte blanch access to the MGM pre-1985, Warner pre-1948 and RKO film libraries. Before they had basically "owned" them and could show them whenever they felt like it. Now, they have to lease them from their own corporate "partner" much as they do the Columbia films from Sony. I do not have any inside skinny on this, but I felt that they still had a better deal on them for a little while after the sell off, but now they don't.

 

A couple other reasons are just the temporal advance. When TCM started in 1994, the studio era was only 40 years past, now it's much longer ago, with more films from the 60's, 70's, 80's, and even now the 90's, being considered "old" or "classic" by younger folks. I have sometimes mentioned that I like classic movies to a few people and they invariably think that means 1980's. Crazy, I know, but it's generational, I guess.

 

The other being the type of studio lease deals they have had lately, even the Columbia deal seems to have quite a few films from the 50's and later in it. Disney, which are mostly from the 60's through 80's and in color. Paramount post 1950 library. Hopefully if they get more of the Universal/Paramount films, we'll see a bit of an increase there.

 

I don't like seeing newer films on TCM, but I can live with it as long as they continue to show commitment to two things: Days like today (6 pre-code films, followed by films from the 40's and 50's, then an evening with Phil Karlson--who??-exactly, only on TCM). Then tomorrow we'll see an obscure comedy from the Roach Studio followed by two chapters of a 1937 serial. Where else are we going to see that? Last night, I watched a 1946 western in black and white (BADMAN'S TERRITORY) in prime time. Yes, they certainly do squeeze more color and recent films into the schedule than they used to, and that does leave less air time for these older films, but they still do show them, and often, and WAY more than we see anywhere else (other than on home video/DVD).

 

The other thing is no ads, commercial free. Again, outside of the premium channels, we just don't see that. A very unobtrusive bug that shows up once in a while, with none of that crazy stuff coming across the bottom of the screen, no pinched credits...all that crap that has ruined TV in my humble opinion. TCM is the class of cable and it's not even close.

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Yes, shame on me for wanting a network that advertises as a "classic" movie channel to show classic movies. Not just occasionally, but as the bulk of its lineup...as was the case for many years.

 

I rarely watch TCM anymore whereas I used to watch it almost exclusively. I pushed hard with my local cable to add TCM to its offerings. It was added and now I get a lineup of color letterboxed junk form the 60's and up.

 

Sure, there are good classics shown from the studio era, but there becoming fewer and fewer.

 

Is it better than most cable channels? Of course! The problem is it's a far cry from the TCM of 5, 10 and 15 years ago. To me, it's a dying channel from its "classic" movie claims. I don't know who's making the programming schedules, but they're losing me. I hate to think where they'll be 5 years from now.

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Another TCM apologist? Perhaps you work for TCM? Or maybe you just enjoy color letterboxed movies from the 60's, 70's and 80's? Hint: There are many other TV channels that carry those type of movies.

 

I'd like a CLASSIC movie channel. Sort like TCM and AMC used to be.

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As we have written about this subject many times in many threads on this message board over the past few years, I think enough has been covered on this subject.

 

However, even though I disagree with your argument that you have stated time and time again that TCM does not show as many films from the 30's to the 50's, I think you need to perform some research on that statement.

 

While it is true that TCM shows more and more films from the 60's and 70's, the vast majority of films shown on this channel are from the earlier time periods.

 

One only has to look at this month's schedule and that bears this point out.

 

I did a little research for the month of September. I counted up all of the feature films that were shown (or at least I hope I did). I did not include shorts or docs.

 

This is what I found (and again, I apologize if I miss counted):

 

389 total films shown.

 

Breakdown by decade:

 

1920: 6

 

1930: 80

 

1940: 115

 

1950: 94

 

1960: 60

 

1970: 25

 

1980: 6

 

1990: 2

 

2000: 1

 

With this unscientific method of counting, the above numbers would indicate that approximately 76% of the feature films shown during September 2009 were films that were released prior to 1960.

 

So, I guess I need to ask you why you are so upset with TCM?

 

The channel IS showing older films, most of the time. Now my research did point out that most of the earlier films are shown during the earlier parts of the day, but some are also shown in the evenings, especially the real so-called essential films.

 

But the schedule does reflect an over abundance of pre-1960 films.

 

The main reason why you see more and more colored films in the evenings is that many of the "new" customers that TCM are going after like color films. MHO.

 

Most newer customers are going to want to see colored films as opposed to B/W films, especially in the evening hours. Once these new customers become hooked to TCM's own unique broadcasting choices, then I am guessing then that these newer customers will then start to watch the older, non-colorized films.

 

But, make no mistake, TCM's bedrock is composed of showing older pre-1960 films.

 

And, the other point that I think needs to be made is this:

 

As we get further along, further by years removed from when many of these classic early 20th century films were released, the harder and harder it will be to restore these older films.

 

If you really care about the types of older films being shown on TCM, and you want more pre-1960 titles shown, then might I suggest you donate to the film preservationists and help them achieve the goal of having more of these great films preserved so that one day TCM can also show these on their schedule.

 

Message edited by FXReyman

 

P.S.

 

I might also point out that many of the so-called classics were NOT filmed in B/W.

 

The Adventures of Robin Hood, 1938

 

Gone With the Wind, 1939

 

Singin' in the Rain, 1952

 

The Searchers, 1956

 

Edited by: fxreyman on Sep 27, 2009 1:51 PM

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Good research. I'm going to find some schedules from around 10 years ago and see how they compare.

 

Something has changed with the TCM schedules to make them less appealing to me. It's not "must see" TV for me anymore.

 

It might be as simple as showing more color movies...I think that's a big part of it and a real minus, IMHO. I know the 'letterboxing' really turns me off. I rarely watch letterboxed movies, especially those with the aspect ratios with the big bars that reduce the actual picture in half. What the hell is the use of having a large screen...or any screen...when only a fraction of it is used. I'm sure some will freak out, but I'll sacrifice whatever is cut out to show a full screen movie. It seems they even try to dig up older movies that are in color more than previously, movies from the early 50s and before.

 

You are absolutely correct that, and this I did check, about 80% of the movies from the 1940s and earlier are shown in the early morning or before noon.

 

I also think the quality of the movies has gone downhill overall. How often do you see movies like "Best Years of our Lives"? We see lots more 60's and newer movies, but how often do you see 60s B&W movies like "To Kill a Mockingbird"? among others. Seems like most 60s and newer movies are in color and letterboxed.

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*It might be as simple as showing more color movies...I think that's a big part of it and a real minus, IMHO. I know the 'letterboxing' really turns me off.*

 

Rover,

I'm sure you are aware that puts you in the minority of viewers who watch TCM. Most people who watch TCM do so not only for the wide assortment of movies both in B&W and in color but also because TCM presents them in their original aspect ratio.

 

Many other networks will offer pan and scan versions of letterboxed classics. TCM is the favored for film buffs because many of its viewers like letterbox presentations of wide-screen films because that's how they were meant to be seen.

 

*You are absolutely correct that, and this I did check, about 80% of the movies from the 1940s and earlier are shown in the early morning or before noon.*

 

That is nothing new. TCM has since the beginning put obscure titles on overnight and early morning. There are posts from the beginning days of the message board as well as usenet groups that attest to that fact.

 

*I also think the quality of the movies has gone downhill overall. How often do you see movies like "Best Years of our Lives"? We see lots more 60's and newer movies, but how often do you see 60s B&W movies like "To Kill a Mockingbird"?*

 

About a year and a half ago, *TKAM* was frequently on the schedule. So much so, that posters were complaining about the frequency of it being shown.

 

*Best Years of Our Lives* has aired within the last year.

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You make some excellent points.

 

On why TCM seems to show more letter boxed films and more color films from the 1960's and on, that is a simple reason.

 

Big, widescreen films started to show up in the mid 1950's. That is when Cinerama got its start with big block-buster type movies, culminating with 1963's How the West Was Won. Cinerama used three different 35 mm cameras to film and then used three different theater projectors to show the film to audiences.

 

Shortly after the release of How the West Was Won, Cinerama was shelved and soon replaced by Ultra Panavision, another widescreen film process. Many of the early 1960's epics were filmed using this process.

 

So that in a nutshell is why you see many films using widescreen technology from the 1960's.

 

*Something has changed with the TCM schedules to make them less appealing to me. It's not "must see" TV for me anymore.*

 

Well, that is your opinion, which you are entitled to. There are many fans of TCM who are quite happy with the selections presented to them monthly. Are there exceptions, you bet!

 

*I also think the quality of the movies has gone downhill overall. How often do you see movies like "Best Years of our Lives"? We see lots more 60's and newer movies, but how often do you see 60s B&W movies like "To Kill a Mockingbird"? among others. Seems like most 60s and newer movies are in color and letterboxed.*

 

I for one would love to see more epic type films and westerns. But you almost have to take the good with the bad. Not every night is there going to be A Best Years of Our Lives type of movie.

 

As far as the really good 1960's B/W films that are shown, I think just this year we have seen films like Fail-Safe, Psycho, Dr. Strangelove, Night of the Living Dead, The Apartment, 81/2, Blow Up, The Hustler, Who's Affraid of Virginia Woolf, Lolita, Advise and Consent, America America, The Bedford Incident, Billy Liar, The Hill, Cape Fear, Days of Wine and Roses, Elmer Gantry, The Longest Day, Help!, Hud, Judgement at Nuremberg, Lillies of the Field, The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, The Manchurian Candidate, The Misfits, The Nutty Professor, One Two Three,

Repulsion, Seven Days in May, Sink the Bismarck!, The Spy Who Came in From the Cold, The Train.

 

Now I may be wrong here but I do think that most of the films I listed here have been on TCM if not this past year, then in the last couple of years. I am not totally sure about that claim. But this list is pretty good, and I am sure that there were many others that were B/W and that they were also shown on TCM.

 

And don't forget most of the films released during the 1960's and for that matter many films from the 1950's WERE released in color. That is called progress.

 

And lets face, if you were living back then and you had the choice to stay home and watch black and white TV or go out to the movies and see something in glorious color, which would you have done? Most TV sets in the 1960's were still B/W. I know that my family did not get a color tv until 1970. The sets were expensive then.

 

And by 1970 almost every film that was released was in color.

 

Message edited by FXReyman

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>>It might be as simple as showing more color movies...I think that's a big part of it and a real minus, IMHO.

 

I know. don't you just hate it when they run:

 

GONE WITH THE WIND

DIVE BOMBER

DRUMS ALONG THE MOHAWK

WESTERN UNION

GOLD IS WHERE YOU FIND IT

BECKY SHARP

NOTHING SACRED

PRIVATE LIVES OF ELIZABETH AND ESSEX

THE JOLSON STORY

DESPERADOES

WIZARD OF OZ

A SONG TO REMEMBER

MEET ME IN ST. LOUIS

NATIONAL VELVET

BILLY THE KID

MYSTERY OF THE WAX MUSEUM

CAPTAINS OF THE CLOUDS

JUNGLE BOOK

THIEF OF BAGDAD

ADVENTURES OF DON JUAN

CAESAR AND CLEOPATRA

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> {quote:title=rover27 wrote:}{quote}

> How often do you see movies like "Best Years of our Lives"? We see lots more 60's and newer movies, but how often do you see 60s B&W movies like "To Kill a Mockingbird"? among others. Seems like most 60s and newer movies are in color and letterboxed.

There is another commercial free cable channel (MoviePlex) that seems to have a lock on To Kill a Mockingbird. They must have a 99-year lease.

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*"Lousy films tonight. Watching other channels tonight."* - FCD

 

I also have no real interest in Mia Farrow night - but am not bothered by it. In fact, I am quite thankful as I can devote all my nights this week to catching Ken Burns' PBS series "The National Parks: America's Best Idea". Five nights well spent in my household.

 

I do enjoy other channels besides TCM.

 

Kyle In Hollywood

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